Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Zappey's Flycatcher - Cyanoptila cumatilis (armchair tick!)

Zappey's Flycatcher - Cyanoptila cumatilis (Seogwipo, Jeju, South Korea, April 2010)
Zappey's Flycatcher - Cyanoptila cumatilis (Seogwipo, Jeju, South Korea, April 2010)
Blue-and-white Flycatcher - Cyanoptila cyanomelana for comparison (Mara-do, Jeju, South Korea, April 2011)
Blue-and-white Flycatcher - Cyanoptila cyanomelana for comparison (Seogwipo, Jeju, South Korea, April 2009)
 Well it's always fun to get an armchair tick! When I spotted this mostly blue flycatcher in a glorious Seogwipo park a few years ago, it initially had me scratching my head. It was showing a solid blue face and breast, and my mind was racing to something exotic like a Verditer Flycatcher (which is actually much more of a turquoise colour). When it turned around I saw the white breast of a Blue-and-White Flycatcher. It was probably fresh in, as it was uncharacteristically lethargic for a flycatcher. I watched it for a while, and got a few record shots.
  It turns out it was a Blue-and-white Flycatcher of the cumatilis subspecies. It took me a little while and some internet searching to figure this out, as the illustrations of the cumatilis in the Brazil guide show a bird that looks almost identical to the nominate Blue-and-white, with a blackish face and breast.
  The cumatilis has recently been split, and is now known as...drumroll please...Zappey's Flycatcher! Great name, I think. I'll be keeping an eye out for both of these gorgeous flycatchers on Gageo next week. Gageo! Next week!


  1. A couple of superb flycatchers. Great captures and super ID work. Hope you find more....I'm waiting for a B & W this spring.

  2. Hi Matt,
    looking forward to hear some gripping stuff from your island retreat. With so much time available you're bound to run into some good falls.
    That Zappey's really doesn't look anything like the illustration in Brazil's book, so I can't even claim, that I might have seen one - at least not any males.


  3. Russell, I see you got your B+W Flys! Always a sexy bird.
    Jens, my month-long sojurn on the islands is over, and I hope to post a lot of backlog birding reports soon! I didn't see any more Zappey's, but I did see a great variety and volume of amazing birds.